Courts, Police, and Fire

Ford County Circuit Court cases (May 8, 2018)

Following is a list of cases filed recently in Ford County Circuit Court, as posted at

• Jonathan E. Cox, 30, of Buckley, for possession of drug paraphernalia.
• Dakota J. Degarmo, 20, of Paxton, for two counts of theft (less than $500).

Former CSI recalls processing shootout scene on I-57 near Paxton

PAXTON — In her first year on the job as an Illinois State Police crime-scene technician, Jodi Barth investigated dozens of homicide scenes, including 32 in the first month alone.

“I’d seen and done a lot,” Barth said.

'Long-overdue' passage of resolution honoring officers expected

CICERO — Legislation to honor police officers involved in a bloody gunfight 39 years ago on Interstate 57 south of Paxton is expected to be passed by the Illinois Senate’s transportation committee in upcoming weeks, according to the committee’s chairman.

Illinois' first female CSI pens book about her career

PAXTON — When Jodi Barth drives down Interstate 57 south of Paxton these days, she can’t help but remember April 7, 1979.

It was on that day that two police officers and one civilian were killed in a bloody gunfight at the 259 mile marker, with one other officer injured.

Early in her career as a state police crime-scene technician, Barth processed that crime scene.

Elliott man perishes in house fire

ELLIOTT — An Elliott man was found dead in his home after firefighters from four agencies responded to a fire there Tuesday morning.

Elliott Fire Chief Bill Smith said his agency responded to a report of a fire at a home at 203 N. Maple St. around 10:20 a.m.

Upon arrival, Smith said, there were flames and smoke coming from the home.

Ford County terrorism suspects charged in Champaign clinic bombing try

URBANA — A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment against four Ford County men, charging three of them with attempted arson in the Nov. 7 attempted bombing of a women’s health clinic in Champaign.

Area firefighters assist with Pembroke Township brush fire

PEMBROKE TOWNSHIP — Among the fire departments called to assist in putting out a massive brush fire in Pembroke Township in Kankakee County on Tuesday afternoon were those from Paxton and Roberts.

Justin Withers, a captain for the Paxton Fire Protection District, said his department was called to help around 4 p.m.

State police issue 125 tickets during Distracted Driving Awareness Week

ASHKUM — District 21 Illinois State Police issued 125 traffic tickets, including 16 for distracted driving, and 323 written warnings, including 43 for distracted driving, during special details conducted in Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee counties as part of Distracted Driving Awareness Week (April 23-27). A total of 37 details were conducted, totaling 73 hours.

Electricity back after Paxton power outage

PAXTON -- More than 3,000 customers were without power near Paxton on Tuesday afternoon, according to Ameren’s online outage map.

The outage in Ford County appears to have started around 3:15 p.m., and power was not expected to be restored until around 5:45 p.m.

Ford County Circuit Court cases (May 1, 2018)

Following is a list of cases filed recently in Ford County Circuit Court, as posted at

• Kenneth E. Freehill, 50, of Gibson City, for aggravated driving under the influence.

• Patrick R. Nugent, 43, of Melvin, for resisting a peace officer.


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